Let’s face it. Winter is a long season in Colorado. You probably have some great clothes in your closet, but you are most likely sick of your outfits. Versus going out and buying for the sake of buying, my solution is for you to shop in your closet, making totally new outfits from your existing clothes.
Here are a few tips:
1. Break up your suits. Many suits that are bought together are not meant to be separated, but most are easily separated. For example, pair your pinstriped pants with a solid jacket. Wear your glen plaid jacket with a solid skirt. Play with layering in new ways. Instead of your usual shell under a jacket, try a belted cardigan.
2. Mix Prints. If you fell like your ensembles are bland, mix it up! Combine that pinstripe suit with a geometric print blouse. For a more subtle look, combine your tweeds with prints.
The trick to mixing prints and patterns is to make sure one print is dominant and the other is subordinate. Next, there should be at least one common color in all pieces of your outfit.
3. Soften menswear with feminine pieces. This is one of my favorite looks, unexpected and always chic. Consider a silk ruffled front blouse under a small houndstooth check suit. Lace blouses look fantastic under pinstripes. Treat the texture of the lace as a pattern and follow the above guidelines. (Note: for professionalism, consider your field, company culture, occasion, and of course, don’t forget your camisole.)
4. Experiment with colors. Wearing unique color combinations not only makes you look and feel fresh, but you’ll also heighten your co-workers’, boss’, and clients’ perception of your creativity. Here are a few combinations to get you started:
-Gray with pink
-Navy with mauve or lavender
-Olive green with burgundy or hot pink
-Brown with mauve or purple
-Gray with copper
-Teal with apple green
-Avocado green with moss green.
5. Accessorize! Accessories are what help to pull your color schemes together, and the right accessories can turn any outfit from blah to beautiful. Here are a few ideas:
-Layer necklaces. Simply adding a second or third necklace, especially pearls, can help you channel your inner Coco Chanel.
-Mix bold jewelry with work clothes to completely change the look.
-Raid your grandmother’s jewelry box to add a vintage flair to your basics.
-Belt your cardigans with slim belts.
-Belt jackets that seem too boxy.
-Change your shoes–a shoe can completely alter the mood of an outfit.
-Build what my friend and mentor, Brenda Kinsel, calls Beauty Bundles, collections of similar colored accessories that add oomph to a neutral outfit. For example, a black suit with a white blouse gains new life when you add a purple scarf, subtle purple earrings, and even purple shoes.